Step Up this Week for Hunger & Homelessness

November 12-20 is Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week — an annual week where people come together across the country to draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness.

One way to do so is to volunteer through VolunteerMatch.

There are nearly 9,000 opportunities for fighting hunger and homelessness, waiting for their perfect match. Behind some of them are nonprofits paving the way for hunger-fighting innovation, accompanied by teams of eager volunteers yearning to make a difference. To help raise awareness and create real results, we’re spotlighting a few ways that you — volunteers and leaders of volunteers — can help throughout the week and beyond.

Educate Your Peers

A 2015 Feeding America report found that 13% of American households face food insecurity.

That’s over 41 million people, throughout every county in America — ranging from 4% of households in Loudon County, VA to 38% in Jefferson County, MS. Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average include families with children headed by a single parent, Black households, and Hispanic households.

A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report states that over half a million people are homeless on a given night — whether chronically homeless or short-term. This should go without being said but we’ll say it anyway: many who face homelessness also endure hunger.

Think Outside-the-Box

Nonprofit organizations are built by passionate professionals eager to make a difference in the world, and to underserved communities like the ones mentioned above. In honor of Hunger Action Month™ this past September, we highlighted seven organizations leading the fight against hunger through innovation.

Since then, a few more have come to our attention. By learning about these organizations, you can be more proactive about finding new ways to fight hunger and homelessness from your end:

Lava Mae, for example, helps restore dignity to San Francisco’s homeless by dispersing “mobile showers.” And by leveraging the power of a mobile app, Copia seamlessly picks up surplus food from restaurants, and caters them to shelters in need.

Meanwhile, Swipe Out Hunger enables college students to donate their unused meal card meals to food-insecure families and individuals in their communities.

Take Action!

This last step is important: knowledge and innovation are worth very little without action. Outside of volunteering, there are many ways you can help through this week and beyond. Here are a couple of noteworthy ones:

How are you helping raise awareness for — or leading the fight against — hunger and homelessness? Share your story in the comments below!